In a statement on its blog on Tuesday, Jan 12, Google said, "It has detected in Dec 2009 a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google."
The company also said, "It has discovered that the accounts of dozens of US, China and Europe based Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China appear to have been routinely accessed by third parties."
"These accounts have not been accessed through any security breach at Google, but most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on the users' computers," Google said.
"These attacks have forced it to review the feasibility of our business operations in China," it said.
"We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China," the blog warned.